5 Reads for Preparing and Giving Presentations

Time has crept up on me and I must begin to plan and create conference presentations coming up over the next few months. I’ll admit I’m starting to feel a little nervous.

I’ve been collecting articles about presenting, so I thought for others who may have presentations coming up, like the New Librarians’ Symposium, I’ll share some reads which have made to my starred list in Google Reader.

1. Stop BREAKING THE BASIC RULES of presenting – by thewikiman.

This slideshow is honest and to the point. It has made me aware of presenting habits to try stay clear of (!)

2. 10 Tips to Do Presentations Like Me: Do What you Said You’d Do – by davidleeking.

I’d highly recommend reading the entire series of presenting tips. But this one stood out because it couldn’t be any more true for the presentations I will be making. I intend to review the abstract (or proposal) I’ve submitted and build my presentations around their purpose and what I’d like the audience to ‘take away’.

3. Presenting opportunities at library events, how to get them – by thewikiman.

Okay, a bit of a tangent here, but valuable advice with one key message – you have to start somewhere, get involved and put yourself out there!

4. How to Create a Captivating Presentation – by Mark McGuinness, from ‘the99percent’.

Some tips for how to structure a presentation to ensure it builds one central theme or idea.

5. How to Create Presentations that Don’t Suck – by Melanie Pinola, from ‘lifehacker’.

This post raises some valid yet basic pitfalls of bad presentations. Be mindful of these.


After reading a few posts on giving presentations, common themes and tips emerge.

  • Don’t overload slides with text and hard-to-see images.
  • Don’t just read out the paper you’ve submitted. Written prose is different to spoken. And don’t read the slides.
  • Don’t go over time! It’s just rude and disrespectful.
  • One idea per slide.
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
I’ve been told I speak well, so really what is left to go horribly wrong is my content and slides. Here goes….
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